What (Else) I Watched Today: Fugou Keiji – Balance:UNLIMITED

I guess every brilliant detective has to be kooky in some form or another. Daisuke goes even further and is just straight up unlikable. If you want a hero with a devil-may-care attitude, then he’s your guy. He will get the job done. He will get results. And when the captain yells, “You caught the perp, but you destroyed half of the city!” Daisuke will just throw fat stacks of cash to make the problem go away. There’s why “Balance:UNLIMITED” is in the show’s title; his bank account is impossibly bottomless. At one point in the episode, Daisuke needs to commandeer a vehicle to go after a van that contains a bomb. Instead of picking any regular car on the street, Daisuke goes for the tricked-out sports car being driven by some rich-ass foreign prince. How does our asshole detective convince the man to give up the vehicle? By proving that his pockets are even deeper and wider. Since the car costs 300 million yen, he goes and pays the foreign prince a mind-boggling one billion yen. Just moments ago, he had plowed through a street, because who cares? Money will solve everything! The end of the episode even tabulates all of the money he spent this week.

The only problem is that not everything can be bought. That’s obvious to us, but maybe it isn’t obvious to Daisuke. Can a man be so rich that he can just buy anything? At one point in the episode, it looks as though Daisuke might’ve run over a mother and her child had Haru, Daisuke’s future partner, not stepped in. Maybe Daisuke would’ve swerved his car anyways. We don’t really know, but much like Haru, who among us would honestly take that risk? Then near the end of the episode, Daisuke concocts a plan that “safely” disposes of the bomb by dumping the vehicle carrying it into the water. Using a sports car to push a van over a bridge right before the bomb goes off? That sounds pretty badass! Unfortunately, there’s a woman stuck in the van, so Daisuke’s best laid plans pretty much means that she gets to die. In the end, Haru has to risk his own life in order to save her, and to add insult to injury, Daisuke doesn’t even bother helping the guy up. Maybe Richie Rich doesn’t think that the woman’s life is worth saving. After all, she attempted to rob a jewelry store with her boyfriend, but they’re such idiots that they ended up targeting a chocolatier instead. One thing led to another and they both ended up in the van with the bomb. My point is that Daisuke might have thought that the woman’s life was expendable because she’s no sweetheart herself. Still, it’s not up to anyone — much less a detective — to devalue a human life like that. Even a devil-may-care attitude has its limits, and it’s clear to me that Daisuke is just overall a bad person. Oh, he has reasons for being this way. We just don’t know what those reasons are yet.

But we already have a good guy in Haru. He’s the everyday anime protagonist. He wholeheartedly sticks to his principle to the point where he was booted off of the First Division investigation team. Adults often have to pay considerations to internal and external politics. Sometimes, they do so at the risk of human lives. Clearly, Haru doesn’t agree with that, which is why he finds himself being berated by a junior. From a narrative point of view, however, guys like him are a dime a dozen in anime. Not every hero is wholesome to the point of boyish naivete, but most are. As a result, they’re also really boring to watch. That’s where Daisuke comes in. He’s someone whom we would love to hate, because he’s not so bad that he disgusts us. He’s just an asshole. And maybe — y’know, after a few drinks — you would even hate-fuck the guy. Fiction allows us to explore these anti-heroes from a safe distance. We don’t have to get in his way in order to watch him in action. And who knows? Maybe our asshole detective will eventually learn to love his fellow man by the end of the series or whatever. Daisuke is not only joining wholesome boy Haru, he’s also joining a team that probably likes to think of itself as one small, close-knit family. Y’know the type. Anyways, maybe Haru can change the guy, maybe he can’t. At the very least, we need someone to clean up any potential mess that money can’t fix.

Personally, I’m looking forward to meeting the femme fatale. Hell, she’s not even named on the anime’s official website. All we know is that she is voiced by Maaya Sakamoto. Every kooky detective needs their Irene Adler, I suppose. But this girl tries to turn it up a notch, because we often see her toting a bazooka in the promo material.

3 thoughts on “What (Else) I Watched Today: Fugou Keiji – Balance:UNLIMITED

  1. frostyandfreeze

    The only thing i could think of through the whole episodes is how this richie rich are basically a menace on the level of the robber here (the bomber is still worse).

    Anyway, the paycheck card pretty much implies how there’s gonna be property destruction on pretty much every episode. Might be entertaining to see him pulling off hollywood action movies stunt in a more grounded world.

    Reply

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